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Diablos Dust – The Reaper Returns

Diablos Dust
The Reaper Returns
by Dave Nowels at 31 August 2018, 11:18 AM

DIABLOS DUST is a Thrash/Power Metal band from Germany. “The Reaper Returns” is their third release, the first since 2013, and is courtesy of Massacre Records. The album also features new vocalist Peter Lohwasser. That fact alone is always enough to raise a warning flag for me. I mean hey, change is difficult. Right?

The album’s title track, “The Reaper Returns” starts us off, and immediately it has my full attention. It immediately impresses me, and has me wondering if it might be the most menacing thing I’ve heard all year. Unfortunately, as soon as the vocals start, I’m immediately reminded why most current Thrash bands frustrate me so much. Lohwasser just doesn’t accentuate or enhance the music the band is playing. When I say playing, I mean playing damn well. Likely, better technically than any other Thrash band I’ve heard in a few years. Unfortunately, the vocals take away from the exciting music. “Roll Your Dice” and “Fall of the Gods” just seem to solidify this for me. Anyone that has read my reviews before knows that European bands singing in their non-native English is a pet peeve of mine because they tend to add juvenile lyrical content and a vocalist with no range to the list.

The music being laid out by the band itself is technical, melodic (as far as Thrash goes) and originative. There is a classic Thrash vibe to this, all while showing a modern edge. Even the production is spot on. I don’t want to keep piling on Lohwasser, but even my dogs left the room once the vocals started. “Blood And Fire” and “Dust” continue the sonic assault, and continue to highlight the abilities of Peyerl and Lini’s dual guitar attack. Surprisingly, the vocals on “Dust” are pretty tolerable, and even fit the song well. The same goes for the vocals on “Warmachine”, though perhaps I’ve just reached a point where I’m forcing myself to find a positive. “Hold On The Flame” closes this one out, and we finish much like we began, with menace.  Clocking in at over seven minutes, “..Flame” is the albums longest track, and I’d argue it’s about two minutes too long. There’s nothing “epic” about the song, it just kind of meanders about lost at times.

In conclusion, “The Reaper Returns” frustrated me. Musically I loved it, and the album cover is fantastic, but, ultimately I would love to hear this band fronted by a different vocalist, one with more experience, skill and range. After a five year delay in between albums, I’m sure their fans expected more. Instead, they got another basically below-average Thrash album.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 5
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. The Reaper Returns
2. Roll Your Dice
3. Sanity
4. Fall Of The Gods
5. Blood And Fire
6. Dust
7. Warmachine
8. Hold On The Flame
Peter Lohwasser – Vocals
Steve Peyerl – Guitar and Vocals
Anton Thoni Lini – Guitar and Vocals
Manfred Seitz – Bass
Stefan Fesser – Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records


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